Nelms serving on USS Iwo Jima as petty officer

A Kerrville, Texas, native is serving aboard USS Iwo Jima, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Arturo Nelms serves as a damage controlman.

Damage controlmen perform organizational and intermediate level maintenance and repair of damage control equipment and systems.

Nelms joined the Navy five years ago for the opportunities serving provides.

"I joined the Navy because I wanted to see the world, gain life experience and fund my education,” said Nelms.

Iwo Jima is the seventh Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear that name. The ship was named for the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II.

According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and Landing Craft Air Cushioned, as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations.

Nelms believes the same lessons and skills developed in Kerrville contribute to a successful naval career.

“I worked engineering jobs for pretty much my whole life,” said Nelms. “Those experiences gave me the mechanical knowledge to succeed in an engineering department at my command.”

Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Nelms is most proud of keeping the command safe.

“I am most proud of fighting a major fire that broke out at my command in 2019,” said Nelms.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Nelms, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“Ever since I was a kid, I have had a passion for the Navy and wanted to join,” added Nelms. “My Dad, who served in the Army, inspired me to join the military and I am so honored and proud to say I’ve had the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.”

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